SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
CHAIR OF THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON STILLBIRTH RESEARCH AND EDUCATION
LABOR SENATOR FOR NT
MEMBER OF THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON STILLBIRTH RESEARCH AND EDUCATION
LABOR SENATOR FOR NSW
We welcome the Government’s announcement that it will follow our lead by funding research and prevention programs to drive down Australia’s stillbirth rate.
Australia loses as many as six babies to stillbirth every day. That’s 2200 babies a year, making stillbirth the leading cause of infant death.
While Australia has made progress in reducing sudden infant death, the stillbirth rate has remained stubbornly high for two decades. Stillbirth rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are even higher.
The time to act is now.
That’s why Labor committed in October to a package of measures designed to save lives and spare families the unimaginable heartache of losing their babies.
Labor’s commitment includes:
- The development a National Stillbirth Strategy – the top recommendation of the Stillbirth Foundation of Australia – to set out priorities, targets and funding needs.
- An education campaign to encourage pregnant women to fall asleep on their sides. Side sleeping reduces the risk of stillbirth by 9 per cent, and could save up to 200 lives a year.
- Funding for the Centre for Research Excellence in Stillbirth at the University of Queensland to focussed on the high number of stillbirths with no known cause.
- Funding to create a platform and free app for real-time pregnancy monitoring via wearable technologies.
Labor’s commitment stands and we will deliver any of these measures that the Government does not.
Given Labor’s leadership and bipartisanship on this issue we look forward to an invitation to participate in the Government’s national roundtable.
Labor initiated and chaired the Senate Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education, which tabled its report this week after receiving 268 submissions and holding six public hearings across the country.
This was the first national investigation and report on the impact of stillbirth on Australian families and the Australian economy.
WEDNESDAY, 5 DECEMBER 2018